5E Is the Help action broken?

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
You call it a strawman, but it has the exact same 5 words as my example of "Dodge attacks, but don't move".
It's telling that you continued with your strawman while snipping out the rest of my post where I address many of the points you continue to raise. Including that the quoted statement above is just fine.
You don't have an official definition of how many words are in a brief utterance. In real life, someone can both do actions and talk. So, most people would assume that PCs and NPCs can say in combat what can be said in real life in 6 seconds. In real life, normal conversation is about 11 to 14 words in 6 seconds. So, 5 words is more than reasonable. It could even be called a brief utterance.
Sigh, already said, man. Maybe if you read my posts, you could save time arguing against points I haven't made.

Strawman or no strawman, your interpretation of the brief utterance phrase is not actually RAW with regard to what commands can be given with the Conjure Animals spell, rather it is merely the interpretation that supports your rules restraint preference.
It is RAW that you can only use brief utterences in combat. Nothing in conjure spells changes this. You can't say that an exception might exist because the rules don't explicitly say an exception doesn't exist.
I seriously doubt that you would limit the Message spell, or Animal Messenger, or any other spell that allows for words to be spoken. In 6 seconds, Animal Messenger allows for 25 words. Magic. Conjure Animals allows for verbal commands. Magic.
Message says brief message, so.... I've never had animal messenger cast in combat. It also has a long duration, so you can cast the spell on 6 seconds (some fraction thereof, really), sure, but the effect is you choose a messenger, specify a recipient/location, speak your message up to 25 words, have it delivered (or not, deoending). All of those are the effect of casting, so praytell which occurs on 6 seconds?

Regardless, if you do assume this is a specific exception, then it's entirely missing from conjure spells, meaning that you've misplaced your petard and have been hoisted.

Limiting verbal commands does sound like a rat bastard DM move.[/QUOTE]



And, bring up more strawmen, like animal messenger. You can read that as a specific exception, but it then wouldn't translate at all to conjures. Watch how you place your petards.

Personally, I've never had animal messenger used in combat , so this isn't something I care about. If it ever is, I'll adjudicate it then based on the situation.
 

KarinsDad

Villager
It is RAW that you can only use brief utterences in combat.
And although it is RAW, you are still unwilling to define how many words make up a brief utterance.



Also, MM page 10. When a monster takes its action, it can choose from the options in the Actions section of its stat block or use one of the actions available to all creatures, such as the Dash or Hide action, as described in the PHB.

PHB pages 192 and 193, Actions in Combat: Attack, Cast a Spell, Dash, Disengage, Dodge, Help, Hide, Ready, Search, Use an Object.

Granted, creatures might have difficulty in using an object or it might be impossible to cast a spell. But, a Pixie could be summoned with a Conjure Woodland Beings and it should be able to cast its spells.


Btw, talking about rules, "They obey any verbal commands that you issue to them (no action required by you).". No action required by you could easily be interpreted to mean that the verbal commands issued require no action by you. In which case the brief utterance rule is the general rule, and this is the specific rule of the spell. You are assuming that the no action required by you is referring only to obeying. I interpret it to mean that the entire sentence requires no action by you. It's magic (and a concentration spell to boot).
 
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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
And although it is RAW, you are still unwilling to define how many words make up a brief utterance.



Also, MM page 10. When a monster takes its action, it can choose from the options in the Actions section of its stat block or use one of the actions available to all creatures, such as the Dash or Hide action, as described in the PHB.

PHB pages 192 and 193, Actions in Combat: Attack, Cast a Spell, Dash, Disengage, Dodge, Help, Hide, Ready, Search, Use an Object.

Granted, creatures might have difficulty in using an object or it might be impossible to cast a spell. But, a Pixie could be summoned with a Conjure Woodland Beings and it should be able to cast its spells.


Btw, talking about rules, "They obey any verbal commands that you issue to them (no action required by you).". No action required by you could easily be interpreted to mean that the verbal commands issued require no action by you. In which case the brief utterance rule is the general rule, and this is the specific rule of the spell. You are assuming that the no action required by you is referring only to obeying. I interpret it to mean that the entire sentence requires no action by you. It's magic (and a concentration spell to boot).
I am not required to define "brief utterences" by precise word count for that to be the rule. Rulings apply. My bruef utterence can be different from yours, but we can both agree that the Henvy IV Crispian's Day soliloquy exceeds that guideline.

And your last is very odd. Speaking in combat doesn't require an action, and no one has said you must spend an action to command conjured animals. The RAW on length on speech in combat is unchanged by conjure animals obeying your spoken commands. This is another odd scarecrow.

My point is that conjure spells alongside restrictions on speech in combat restrict the tactical control possible over conjured creatures. So far, the example command you've presented is fine, which I've said more than once. Yet you keep trying to insist that I'm saying you can't command in combat, or that you have to spend an action, and I've done neither. I presented a clear case above as to a too long and complicated command which I've actually seen similar allowed in games where full, avatar level tactical control is permitted. I'm actually arguing for commands, followed well, but limited in complexity by RAW reference. It would be nice if you actually addressed that instead of the string of strawmen you keep erecting.
 

KarinsDad

Villager
I am not required to define "brief utterences" by precise word count for that to be the rule. Rulings apply. My bruef utterence can be different from yours, but we can both agree that the Henvy IV Crispian's Day soliloquy exceeds that guideline.

And your last is very odd. Speaking in combat doesn't require an action, and no one has said you must spend an action to command conjured animals. The RAW on length on speech in combat is unchanged by conjure animals obeying your spoken commands. This is another odd scarecrow.

My point is that conjure spells alongside restrictions on speech in combat restrict the tactical control possible over conjured creatures. So far, the example command you've presented is fine, which I've said more than once. Yet you keep trying to insist that I'm saying you can't command in combat, or that you have to spend an action, and I've done neither. I presented a clear case above as to a too long and complicated command which I've actually seen similar allowed in games where full, avatar level tactical control is permitted. I'm actually arguing for commands, followed well, but limited in complexity by RAW reference. It would be nice if you actually addressed that instead of the string of strawmen you keep erecting.
So, is a single word sufficient for a brief utterance?

Attack, Dash, Disengage, Dodge, Help, Hide, Ready, Search

Do you allow your players to tell the summoned creature to attack? If so, then why not other one word commands?

Do you allow your players to tell the summoned creature to "move and attack"? If so, then why not other three word command like "disengage and move"?

Do you allow the party leader to shout out to the team "Surround them and don't let any escape"? Or are your players mostly mute during combat except for "out of character" conversations?


You might think that you don't have to define "brief utterance", but without that definition, your argument is suspect because you are basing it on subjective reasons and not game mechanic logic. It's logical that PCs could utter a 10 or 15 word sentence in combat and that this is considered a brief utterance. The point of the brief utterance sentence is not to restrict players from doing reasonable speech in combat, but to prevent them from giving an entire paragraph of speech in a single round.

And the spell allows even Int 1 creatures to obey, hence, understand. Why? Cause it's magic. The Monster Manual allows all creatures to perform all normal actions. But, you are allowing some (presumably attack) and preventing others (presumably help or dodge).


Btw, I have no issue with a DM allowing only one set of commands in a given round. But preventing the caster from commanding the creatures in doing a wide variety of actions over different rounds is lame. It's the opposite of fun for the player who took that spell.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
So, is a single word sufficient for a brief utterance?
I've already answered this.

Attack, Dash, Disengage, Dodge, Help, Hide, Ready, Search

Do you allow your players to tell the summoned creature to attack? If so, then why not other one word commands?
I've already answered this.

Do you allow your players to tell the summoned creature to "move and attack"? If so, then why not other three word command like "disengage and move"?
I've already answered this.

Do you allow the party leader to shout out to the team "Surround them and don't let any escape"? Or are your players mostly mute during combat except for "out of character" conversations?
I've already answered this.

Really, the tedious part of all of this is that I've clearly answered all of your above hypotheticals, but you haven't bothered to read my posts and are instead providing your own imaginations of my arguments so you can dunk on them.

You might think that you don't have to define "brief utterance", but without that definition, your argument is suspect because you are basing it on subjective reasons and not game mechanic logic. It's logical that PCs could utter a 10 or 15 word sentence in combat and that this is considered a brief utterance. The point of the brief utterance sentence is not to restrict players from doing reasonable speech in combat, but to prevent them from giving an entire paragraph of speech in a single round.
I agree, and have already said this.

And the spell allows even Int 1 creatures to obey, hence, understand. Why? Cause it's magic. The Monster Manual allows all creatures to perform all normal actions. But, you are allowing some (presumably attack) and preventing others (presumably help or dodge).
I've already said this.
Btw, I have no issue with a DM allowing only one set of commands in a given round. But preventing the caster from commanding the creatures in doing a wide variety of actions over different rounds is lame. It's the opposite of fun for the player who took that spell.
It's weird, innit? If you'd actually read what I've written, you'd see that we agree on this point, 100%. I suggest you scroll up and read instead of knee-jerk, you might be surprised.
 

KarinsDad

Villager
It's weird, innit? If you'd actually read what I've written, you'd see that we agree on this point, 100%. I suggest you scroll up and read instead of knee-jerk, you might be surprised.
I think both of us were not quite reading the other's posts carefully, and are actually closer in adjudicating. I apologize for not reading your posts carefully.

Why are you arguing to make an already very powerful spell even more powerful?
I'm not arguing that per se. I am arguing that the caster determines where each summoned creature appears. I am arguing that a single command per round can be made, but that the caster decides which summoned creatures are affected by that command (i.e. not all creatures). I am arguing that the command can be upwards of 10 to 15 words (e.g. "move to the closest foe and attack", or "move to surround the ogre and dodge"). I am arguing that the caster's last command to a given creature is the one it follows until it is given a new one (i.e. the "don't issue any commands to them" does not apply on every round, rather it applies until the caster gives his first command). The caster doesn't have to give the same commands every round to maintain.

Basically, I am not arguing that the caster controls their every action like mind control, but the caster does decide how his spell works. Now, I can see a given DM adjudicating some of these differently. But to me, fun is the name of the game and a player has fun if his good ideas can be used.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Why are you arguing to make an already very powerful spell even more powerful?

Personally, the only application of summon spells that aren't completely OP is when you can issue only the simplest of commands, and only to the group as a whole.

And even then the DM needs to babysit the spell (selecting middling creatures of each CR) because WotC couldn't be bothered to make the spell(s) work right out of the gate!

This argument makes no sense in that regard. If you can position summons so that monsters must hack through them, the battle is already won.
This a kneejerk aversion to summoning spells, not something based in actual analysis.

Summoning makes combat more complex, but it absolutely is not OP.
 

Seth Maixner

Villager
I prefer the familiar to be of such intelligence to be upset at a wizard that abuses it. Using a wise owl as a flanking distraction meat shield buddy might make said owl less than cooperative.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
This a kneejerk aversion to summoning spells, not something based in actual analysis.

Summoning makes combat more complex, but it absolutely is not OP.
What is your definition of OP?

Or perhaps more expedient, let me call these spells "best in class" instead.

If the DM doesn't handle summons very harshly, there are very very few spells that can compare, in terms of combat utility and shutting down (=trivializing, winning) combats.

And please stop dismissing the analysis of others as "kneejerk". It is offensive, untrue and generally paints you as a schmuck whose opinion can be safely disregarded.

Anyway, once the summons are there, and the issue of the summoning's power is moot, having them take the help action is not particularly overpowered, since the cost is not taking their regular attack action.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
What is your definition of OP?

Or perhaps more expedient, let me call these spells "best in class" instead.

If the DM doesn't handle summons very harshly, there are very very few spells that can compare, in terms of combat utility and shutting down (=trivializing, winning) combats.
Not in my experience, or that of anyone I know. Nor can I quite see what basis you have for claiming that. Is it directly experiential, or hypothetical? If you could be specific about what leads you to believe all that, it would help see what actual analysis underline your stance.

And please stop dismissing the analysis of others as "kneejerk". It is offensive, untrue and generally paints you as a schmuck whose opinion can be safely disregarded.
Criticism can be tough, I get it. Still, personal attacks are never an acceptable response to criticism of your arguments.

Anyway, while summoning spells don’t actually outperform other same-tier spells on any reliable basis, they do disrupt the manner in which many DMs and groups like to run the game. I icy is vastly more important.

But having advantage a lot doesn’t unbalance the game, so a spell that basically puts physical obstacles on the board that give PCs advantage, and have to be destroyed or knocked out via Concentration check, isn’t an inherently unbalanced spell type.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I saw that this thread had been necro'd, but didn't bother looking at the new posts as I didn't think there was more to add to the discussion.

It's nice to know that sometimes I pass Wisdom checks in real life.
 

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